Commentary
Content posted in November 2007
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Zune Vs. iPod: Which Music Player Do You Want For Xmas?
Commentary  |  11/27/2007  | 
There's lots of talk about Microsoft's slimmed-down, second-generation Zune. I'm supposed to get my review unit soon, and I'm anxious to take a look. I'm sure it's much improved over the 1.0 design, which had all the style of a 1960 Dodge Polara. However, if you ask people which music player they want for the holidays, and you frame the question the way I did in the headline, the answer is pretty obvious.
What Does Verizon's "Open Move" Mean For Smaller Companies?
Commentary  |  11/27/2007  | 
Verizon challenged the way America does wireless today when it announced that it plans to open its wireless network to third party mobile devices, software, and applications. If other carriers are forced to follow suit, what might that mean to small and midsize companies' mobility plans?
University To Make Students Carry GPS Mobile Phones
Commentary  |  11/27/2007  | 
For those of you who thought I was jumping the gun with location and GPS, check this out: Montclair State University will require its students to buy and carry a special cell phone equipped with GPS. Is this a sign of things to come?
Verizon's Open Network: What's The Catch?
Commentary  |  11/27/2007  | 
With all the buzz about Verizon promising to open its wireless network to third-party devices in 2008, I find myself being strongly skeptical. This could turn out to be an open network in nothing but name.
Is Verizon's Announcement Really The End Of Closed Wireless Networks?
Commentary  |  11/27/2007  | 
Just how open will Verizon Wireless' open network be next year? Will Verizon offer true open network access? Or will the carrier use tiered pricing and other tactics to try to keep unapproved applications and devices off its network?
Feeling Grumpy About Your Job?
Commentary  |  11/27/2007  | 
Who do you think likes his or her job better, you or your boss? A few recent surveys hint that IT worker-bees are happier with their jobs than the queen-bee is with hers. But is the company king-pin the unhappiest of all?
Real Zune Now
Commentary  |  11/27/2007  | 
New models of Microsoft's Zune media player prove that Microsoft is still Microsoft: It's one of the best companies in the world at doing the difficult job of learning from its mistakes.
Industry Begins To Weigh In On Verizon's Open Handset Policy
Commentary  |  11/27/2007  | 
Microsoft is one of the first companies to formally announce that it supports Verizon's new "any apps, any device" idea. So far other companies have remained mum on the subject. You have to wonder what members of the Open Handset Alliance thin
Why Linus Isn't "Competing"
Commentary  |  11/27/2007  | 
The recent interview with Linus Torvalds cemented a number of things I've believed about Linux for a while now. Linux isn't an OS, or even a kernel: it's an embodiment of a design philosophy.  One aspect of that philosophy could be described as "ignore the competition."
Cyber Monday to Smaller Businesses: Get Online
Commentary  |  11/27/2007  | 
Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving when online retailers offer shoppers deals, is becoming a real trend. At least The New York Times says so. Oh, and so do the shoppers who, by some estimates, bought nearly $700 million worth of stuff.
Now That Verizon Wireless Is Opening Its Network, What's Next?
Commentary  |  11/27/2007  | 
It looks like Google is about to get everything it wants. The king of closed wireless networks, Verizon Wireless, this morning said it will open its networks to "wireless devices, software and applications not offered by the carrier." Now what's next?
Consolidation Hits the Business Rules Market
Commentary  |  11/27/2007  | 
Business rules engines are yet another example of a niche technology that is powerful, yet seemingly needs to constantly strive for the recognition it deserves. Other eclectic-yet-deserving technologies in this category include master data management and data quality solutions, etc. The challenge is to be perceived as an essential part of the corporate technology portfolio...
Verizon Wireless's Walled Garden Comes Tumbling Down
Commentary  |  11/27/2007  | 
Holy cell towers, Batman! In a stunning announcement, Verizon Wireless has promised that customers will be able to use "any app, any device" on its network starting next year. Is this the end of the walled garden as we know it?
Converting A Few Measly Page Views Into Real Business
Commentary  |  11/27/2007  | 
Yodle, a specialist in placing online ads for small, local companies, has secured $12 million in second round venture funding. Its clients are the small-fries of Web commerce, but large enterprises could learn a few things from them.
Macworld May Disappoint iPhone Phreaks
Commentary  |  11/26/2007  | 
The January classic will be bigger than ever and more comprehensive than in years past. But unless Apple makes an announcement, don't expect to get insider scoop on how to hack an iPhone at Macworld 2008.
Mozilla Fixes Memory And CPU Problems In Firefox 3 Beta 1
Commentary  |  11/26/2007  | 
Mozilla.org says it fixed a problem with Firefox 3 Beta 1 that caused it to spike CPU usage and eat hundreds of megabytes of RAM. The fix involved changing the configuration of a server that Firefox communicates with, so you don't have to download a new version to take advantage of it.

Linux Kernel Maintainers: Accountable To All, Beholden To None?
Commentary  |  11/26/2007  | 
The Linux kernel is surrounded by hundreds of interested parties. How is it that none of them gains a commanding influence over the kernel's development priorities? HP, IBM, Oracle. Google, eBay and Intel each has a primary stake in Linux and employs kernel developers. Does this mean money talks when it comes to Linux? If not, why not?
Will The iPhone Ever Be Ready For The Enterprise?
Commentary  |  11/26/2007  | 
My colleague Sean Ginevan over at Network Computing asks if the iPhone will ever be ready for the enterprise IT market. This is shaping up as the never-ending question of 2007.
Credit For Amazon's Ugly Kindle Should Go To E-Ink Maker
Commentary  |  11/26/2007  | 
Buried amid all the bows Jeff Bezos is taking for Amazon's Kindle is some note of where the real credit for the electronic-book reader should go. That would be to E Ink Corp. of Cambridge, Mass., which developed the technology behind both Kindle and its far more elegant looking cousin, the Sony Reader.
Do You Know Who Your Next CIO Will Be?
Commentary  |  11/26/2007  | 
Succession planning is an important part of management strategy. Unfortunately, it's a practice more breached than honored -- especially when it comes to CIOs.
Why Doesn't Google Android Support SIP?
Commentary  |  11/26/2007  | 
While Google's Android OS promises to break open the mobile market, some insiders are wondering why it has no support for SIP or IMS. How revolutionary can Android be if it does not include SIP?
Putting CEBP Into Perspective
Commentary  |  11/26/2007  | 
Rumor Mill: T-Mobile Might Be Ready To Launch Its 3G Network
Commentary  |  11/26/2007  | 
This one has been a long time coming. T-Mobile is the only one of the four major U.S. carriers that doesn't offer 3G data services. It bought 3G spectrum back in 2006, but has yet to get any portions of its planned 3G network up and running. Looks like that might be about to change.
Did Asus Drop The Ball With The Eee PC's Open Source?
Commentary  |  11/26/2007  | 
One of the provisions of using open-source code is that you have to honor the license the code was provided under, which usually means supplying the source on demand. From what other people have observed, Asus may not have properly fulfilled its obligations under the GPL to release all the source code used to build the Eee PC's proprietary hardware drivers. Or maybe someone just goofed.
Blyk MVNO Claims 43 Percent Click-Through On Its Mobile-For-Ads Service
Commentary  |  11/26/2007  | 
The U.K.-based mobile virtual network operator is saying that in its first eight weeks of operation it just might have a valid business model after all. The MVNO offers free mobile service to 16-24 year olds. In exchange for free minutes and text-message allowances, users have to view ads on their phones. So far, up to 43 percent are actually clicking o
Business Security Lessons From 60 Minutes
Commentary  |  11/25/2007  | 
Nice piece on information security on this week's 60 Minutes, with Lesley Stahl being walked through venues from wireless network vulnerabilities to stolen credit card number auctions.
A Mother Lode Of Business Code
Commentary  |  11/25/2007  | 
Forget IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle. How much software do you think businesses have developed for internal use? Here's one expert's guesstimate.
British iPhone Users Complain Of Serious Reception Problems
Commentary  |  11/24/2007  | 
British iPhone buyers are in an online uproar over reception problems they're experiencing on the network of O2, Apple's exclusive service provider in England. (No bars for iPhone Brits?)
Mobile Tech, From Drug Tests To Train Tracks
Commentary  |  11/21/2007  | 
A pro cycling team gave riders BlackBerrys so it can summon them anytime for unannounced drug tests. Now, testing employees for elevated testosterone on three hours notice might not be a core competency for your company. But it gets to a challenge: do you have a problem that mobile technology lets you look at in a new way?
The Promise Of Mobile GPS And Location
Commentary  |  11/21/2007  | 
If 2007 was the year of smartphones, then 2008 promises to be the year of mobile location. Consumers and business users want GPS and other location services on their smartphones. But what does 2008 really hold in store?
Let's stop agonizing about BI positioning
Commentary  |  11/21/2007  | 
I'm getting pretty tired of the agonizing whether recent market events and trends mean the end of business intelligence as we know it. Some of my fellow pundits are scrutinizing vendor consolidations and they're studying the impact of the emergence of new analytical approaches and application-delivery methods. Consolidation will mean a refocusing of product development for acquired vendors, that's all, not "the end of BI as a separate application."
Tomorrow's CIO: A Woman
Commentary  |  11/21/2007  | 
Women possess many of the attributes necessary for the emerging role of the CIO, such as skills in communication, collaboration, and negotiation, says Susan Mersereau, senior VP and CIO at Weyerhaeuser Co.: "I think they're wired to move into this career."
Got Macs? Get Apple Developer Connection Select
Commentary  |  11/21/2007  | 
One of the best investments Ive made in Mac business technology is signing up for ADC Select. Thats Apple Developer Connection Select, a paid-for service thats geared primarily towards software developers, but which provides tremendous value for any organization thats deploying significant numbers of Macs.
Squeak! Its a Two-Button Mouse for Your Mac!
Commentary  |  11/21/2007  | 
If youre looking for the perfect holiday present for your business Macintosh users, buy each and every one a two-button mouse.
Running IE On Linux -- And Running Windows XP For Free (Sort Of)
Commentary  |  11/21/2007  | 
Yes, I know the headline sounds like the fodder for a joke: "Run IE on Linux? Why would you want to?" But there are circumstances where it's unavoidable -- compatibility testing, or accessing IE-only sites without dual-booting -- and in the last few weeks I've come across a couple of interesting approaches to this issue.
Why Does Jaron Lanier Hate Google?
Commentary  |  11/21/2007  | 
Spurred into opining by the television writers strike, virtual-reality guru Jaron Lanier has reversed his long-standing "piracy is good" position. Writing on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times, he's lamenting the fact that content creators aren't reaping their fair share of the Web's riches, and that this comes at the expense
Gmail As Designed By Microsoft
Commentary  |  11/21/2007  | 
Since Thanksgiving is just around the corner, it's time for some holiday chestnuts. Here's one: What if Microsoft, and not Google, had designed Gmail? How would the application be different? Let's take a look.
And The Best Selling Mobile Phone Of The Third Quarter Was...
Commentary  |  11/21/2007  | 
...Not the iPhone. It was the Motorola Razr V3. Not the new version of the Razr, mind you, but the ancient version of the Razr that used to be a trendsetter. My question is, should it really count as a "sale" when people are not actually paying for the phone?
Study Links Wi-Fi Exposure To Autism
Commentary  |  11/21/2007  | 
Another day, another study. This one comes from the Australasian Journal of Clinical Environmental Medicine and says that the signals spewing from the Wi-Fi router in your office can trap certain metals within brain cells and increase the chances your kids will develop autism.
Microsoft Web Analytics Does Demographics
Commentary  |  11/21/2007  | 
Microsoft finally announced Gatineau, the beta release of its free Web analytics solution, at the end of October. Focused primarily on those who use Redmond's AdCenter service, Gatineau will draw comparisons with Google Analytics, but it offers some interesting differentiation, such as the ability to derive demographic data from site visitors who have signed up for a Live ID through Microsoft's Hotmail or Messenger.
Is Your Site Ready for the Holiday Rush?
Commentary  |  11/21/2007  | 
The Christmas season officially begins Friday, traditionally being the busiest day of the year for retailers. So as customers get ready to open up their wallets, the question becomes: Will your Web site withstand the dramatic surge in traffic?
Hanging Up On Mobile AV
Commentary  |  11/20/2007  | 
It's good to see security vendors getting in front of a problem. But when it comes to mobile malware, Symantec and McAfee are getting ahead of themselves.
SAP Hopes To See TomorrowNow Become YesterdayThen
Commentary  |  11/20/2007  | 
So the other shoe drops. Four months after admitting one of its subsidiaries downloaded Oracle documents it didn't have legal rights to, SAP is doing everything it can to yank out and destroy that thorn in it's paw known as TomorrowNow.
Bigger Screens, Lighter Notebooks? It's Not A Paradox
Commentary  |  11/20/2007  | 
Fujitsu is releasing a new laptop today that breaks one of the rules of notebook physics -- it has a bigger screen than a similar predecessor model, but it's lighter. How does that work? The reason is the change in screen technology from fluorescent-backlit to LED-backlit.
Work From Anywhere -- Carefully
Commentary  |  11/20/2007  | 
The ability to work anywhere, at anytime, is crucial for anyone involved in a smaller business. Until recently, though, working in airports or hotels was a hit or miss affair.
So, Apple Is Not Spying On iPhone Users After All
Commentary  |  11/20/2007  | 
Yesterday the blogosphere erupted when evidence surfaced that Apple was potentially spying on iPhone users. Now other bloggers are claiming that Apple is not spying on its users. So which is it?
Share The Love: IT Staff Feel Appreciated
Commentary  |  11/20/2007  | 
Contrary to stereotyped perceptions (and Saturday Night Live skits), IT staff members aren't necessarily targets of verbal abuse, they do get positive feedback from users, and they aren't constantly surfing the Web looking for new jobs. As for CIOs ... insufficient data.
Video: Vintage Apple Lisa Commercial Stars Kevin Costner
Commentary  |  11/20/2007  | 
This commercial stars the Dances With Wolves actor as a hip executive who bicycles to the office with his dog and uses a Lisa when he gets there.

T-Mobile Dumps Customers Who Roam Too Much
Commentary  |  11/20/2007  | 
So much for winning all those shiny customer service awards. In a bad customer service moment that smacks of something Sprint did recently, T-Mobile decided to kick 600 customers to the curb. Their offense? Roaming in areas without T-Mobile network coverage too often.
SharePoint as a .Net Development Platform
Commentary  |  11/20/2007  | 
On the one hand, the Web Parts framework is very attractive for plugging widgets into dashboard-type pages. In addition to what ships natively with SharePoint, you can find lots of 3rd-party Web Parts. But their quality and safety varies substantially, and inevitably you need to extend them...and then how do you handle support?... Microsoft's portal is no more or less complicated than, say, Sun's.
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